Friday, 24 January 2014

Science and the 2014 Winter Olympics

On the 4th February the Winter Olympics begin in Russia.
Much of the media has been focused on the possible terrorist threat and the athletes who will be competing.

I came across a really interesting website that has a selection of clips all about the science behind the sports at the Winter Olympics.  Some of these clips are really interesting and explain about the physics found in each sport.  Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

NBC Learn is an American based website and is the educational arm of NBC news.  They have a number of other interesting free resources that you can check out here.

Catapult Catch Up!

Towards the end of last year, our senior Year 8 boys in 8B and 8P were given the challenge to design and construct either their own catapult or trebuchet.  Boys working in three's and were given some parameters and a few materials to get them started.  Their aim was to build one that would fire a golf ball the furthest across our school field.
Boys from 8B trials their catapults

Needless to say, the level of enthusiasm was high.  Once again it clearly showed just how much boys get out hands on, fun tasks.  Their ability to communicate their ideas within their group, to be able to listen, to problem solve, work together, construct and follow instructions determined the success of their outcome.
I provided a simple model and then they were given time to use the internet and plan what they were going to do.
At the end of term both classes had a competition to see which catapult fired the longest distance.  Even those boys who weren't so successful really enjoyed themselves and learnt so much.

A huge thank you has to go to our Wellesley Parents Association.  They very kindly bought for our technology room a whole new set of work benches, a whole set of new power drills and all sorts of other really tools.  Having good quality tools to work with made such a difference.  Things were much easier for the boys and they were able to do a better job than what they have done in the past.  I am very grateful for our parents association contributing to the classroom.